Screen readers

Narrator

Narrator is the free built-in screen reader available in recent versions of Windows.  While Narrator has very limited functionality in Windows XP, Vista and 7, it was significantly updated in Windows 8 to include the explore by touch feature on touch screen devices.

Note: If you are using an older version of Windows such as XP or 7, it is recommended you use a more developed screen reader such as NVDA. If you have an Apple Mac we recommend you use the inbuilt VoiceOver.

Features

Features of Narrator include:

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Guest post: Voting independently

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In a recent state by-election, screen reader user Andrew Devenish-Meares was able to vote online. Here, he talks through the experience of being able to place a secret vote independently.

It’s that time again for the people of the Northern Tablelands state election. Some people view it as a right, others say it is an obligation. Either way, the law requires we cast our ballots in a by-election.

Here in New South Wales, the NSW Electoral Commission has spent considerable time developing an online voting application for use in state elections and by-elections. It’s called iVote, and was first used at the last state election in 2011 to great success.

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Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2013

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Thursday 9 May marks the second annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a day dedicated to raising the profile of web accessibility amongst web professionals. In Australia, there will be activities held in different cities to explore how accessibility, or lack thereof, impacts on the experience of using the web for people with disability.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) started after Los Angeles-based web developer Joe Devon suggested the idea on his blog. Canadian accessibility professional Jennison Asuncion spotted the post and offered his help to get the day off the ground.

This year, organisers are inviting web professionals to get a taste of what it’s like for the one in five people who have a disability. Some of the suggested activities include: 

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VoiceOver saved in Apple, Samsung patent battle

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Apple's screen reader VoiceOver has been saved from being removed from Apple devices, after a German court ruled against Samsung's claim that VoiceOver breached one of its patents. The ruling comes as a relief to the blind and vision impaired community.

VoiceOver is an assistive tool that interprets text on screen and delivers this information back to the user in audible form. This enables blind users to navigate and access apps on their device. When VoiceOver was first introduced in iOS devices in 2009, it became an affordable alternative to other commercial screen readers.

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